For lunch, brunch or dinner
By AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN
This beautiful tart takes just minutes to assemble and makes for an impressive brunch dish, appetizer, or even a simple light lunch or dinner.
We experimented with several different crusts, trying a pie shell, a tart shell, and par-baked puff pastry. The buttery, flaky puff pastry was absolutely irresistible, and so easy to prep.
For a fresh, light filling, we simply scattered the asparagus and other toppings over the pastry base. Cutting the asparagus spears into thin, 1-inch pieces made the tart easier to eat and ensured that the asparagus didn’t need precooking.
We tossed the pieces with olive oil, plus garlic, lemon zest, scallions, and olives. For a creamy base to anchor the toppings, tangy, soft goat cheese nicely complemented the bright, grassy asparagus. Blending in a bit of olive oil made it easier to spread. We dolloped more cheese on top of the asparagus and baked the tart to golden perfection.
To thaw frozen puff pastry, let it sit either in the refrigerator for 24 hours or on the counter for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Look for asparagus spears no thicker than 1/2 inch.
ASPARAGUS AND GOAT CHEESE TART
Start to finish: 55 minutes
¯6 ounces thin asparagus, trimmed and cut 1/4 inch thick on bias (1 cup)
¯2 scallions, sliced thin
¯3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¯2 tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives
¯1 garlic clove, minced
¯1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
¯1/4 teaspoon salt
¯1/4 teaspoon pepper
¯4 ounces (1 cup) goat cheese, softened
¯1 (9 1/2-by-9 inch) sheet puff pastry, thawed
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine asparagus, scallions, 1 tablespoon oil, olives, garlic, zest, salt, and pepper in bowl. In separate bowl, mix 3/4 cup goat cheese and 1 tablespoon oil until smooth; set aside.
Unfold pastry onto lightly floured counter and roll into 10 inch square; transfer to prepared sheet. Lightly brush outer 1/2 inch of pastry square with water to create border, then fold border toward center, pressing gently to seal.
Spread goat cheese mixture in even layer over center of pastry, avoiding folded border. Scatter asparagus mixture over goat cheese, then crumble remaining 1/4 cup goat cheese over top of asparagus mixture.
Bake until pastry is puffed and golden and asparagus is crisp-tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, cut into 4 equal pieces, and serve.
Nutrition information per serving: 530 calories; 366 calories from fat; 41 g fat ( 9 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 13 mg cholesterol; 464 mg sodium; 31 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 11 g protein.